Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, Simone Elkeles has once again wowed me with her AWESOMENESS!!!! As tears are streaming down my face, of course they are happy tears but also tear of sadness to see Alex and Brit's story unfold in only one book. Oh boy was this book worth every tear I shed tonight-and there were alot. But these last tears were those of happiness for a perfect ending, to the perfect story, with my 2 favorite perfect characters that will live on in my heart forever. Oh Alex and Brit how I will miss thee-I suppose I will see them again in the next 2 books. But that's it for now while I go blow my nose since it's dripping snotty tears. Full review to come SOON!
I am such an emotional wreck, I blame it on Simone Elkeles!!! She does this to me with each book I read. I will finish and then feel depressed or emotional for days! But it's the fact that it gets to me so much that I sit there and cry, even when the ending was pure bliss-perfect. She always has a way of making you feel. You feel for her characters in every book. Every situation. You feel thier love. You feel their sorrow. You feel their fear. You feel their pain. You feel their happiness. You just feel. And it's not something every author can accomplish with with their readers. (Jennifer Armentrout and Simone Elkeles are a rare few) Elkeles is absolutely amazing with her stories that I always feel I'm front and center watching it with my own eyes. I read her books and the world falls away. The Leaving Paradise series(I guess it's not really considered a series with only 2 books) but it left me in tears for days after reading it. The characters touched my heart so profoundly that I was lost in their story all the way til the end. It didn't change at all for this awesome book! Perfect Chemistry was....well perfect! Now, I shall get on with my review before I lose all senses.
*WARNING THIS BOOK CONTAINS SEX, DRUGS & LANGUAGE-NOT FOR YOUNG TEENS*
This book takes place in Fairfield near Chicago, Illinois. It's about 2 teenagers from very different parts of the tracks. Alejandro, better known as Alex (or Sexy mexy), is a gangbanger trying to protect his family from the dangers lurking around his homelife. He has alot of secrets and his life is anything BUT perfect. Brittany on the other hand has it all, she's a very popular cheerleader(who is captain of the Poms squad) with a hot boyfriend of 2 years who is a football player (go figure) and has great friends. But on the surface she is no different than anyone else. She tries to keep a Perfect front to everyone outside of her home. Her sister has cerebral palsy and her parents are lacking the whole parenting part, though they lead everyone to believe they are the happiest and most perfect family around. It's not the life she's always wanted. Things get a little interesting when Alex and Brit are paired up as partners to work together in a Chemistry project. They can't stand each other and, they both realize how both of them are so different. Alex makes a bet with his friends that he can get Brittany to sleep with him before Thanksgiving. Being friends or anything less than acquantances, if even that would be so catastrophic for their reputations and would only show Alex her real life she is not yet ready for anyone to see. But overtime, things start to sizzle as Alex realizes, she's not as different as he thought. As they spend more time together they start to understand each other more and their chemistry is undeniable. Can they survive the judgements from friends and even strangers?? Can they see each other as more than chemistry partners or would it ruin their perfect/not-so-perfect facade they put up for show?
Okay, so originally I wasn't going to read this. A friend of mine read it and didn't like it at all. We have very similar taste in books so I figured it would be a waste of time. So I decided to toss it aside and instead read Leaving Paradise. Wow, I instantly fell in love with Elkeles' writing style. It was amazing! I read the second book and loved it even more. I wanted more of her writing...more of her books...more of her characters...more of her beautiful stories that made me feel everything. So after many reviews raving Perfect Chemistry and MANY demanding friends, I decided to give it a try. I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED! Simone delivered a phenomenal story yet again that touched all the way to my soul-and other places. I was so happy I took a chance on this book, I would have missed out on such an emotionally awesome rollercoaster! And I LOVE rollercoasters!! Also, I couldn't help but notice how similar this book was to the movie Crazy/Beautiful, which was one of my favorite movies from years ago. It made me love it even more!! I loved that this book was in alternating perspectives! We got to see both Brit's life unfold as well as Alex's past and fears for his future.
The character dynamics in this were incredible. I loved seeing the different sides-the North side and the South side-so different yet also similar. I loved Isa (Alex's friend), she accepted Brit right away. She never judged her for being who she was. So bittersweet. Sierra, who was Brit's best friend was not accepting of Alex at first but she came around and she made me smile. I enjoyed her character and seeing how she changed her views. She was just looking out for her best friend. *sigh* Paco, Alex's best friend. Oh dear Paco, why??? I loved him the most of the secondary characters. He was just. Amazing. Kind. Sacrificial. Oh God, it pains me to think of him. *SOB* Okay, I really can't say anything else my eyes are watery...the water works will start. Mrs. P, their chemistry teacher was the kind of teacher everyone should have. She believed in Alex, she felt he could change...for the better, for his future. Oh Mrs. P how I loved thee. If I ever had chemistry, I would want someone like her. She. Was. Awesome. Carlos, Enrique, Luis, Shelley (Brit's sister)....you are still amazing, don't ever let anyone tell you different. I feel your pain as if it was my own. You were such a trooper all the way til the end. I wasn't too fond of Brittany's parents but they came around. And Mrs. Fuentes, might I say your son is like the epitome of HOTNESS and SWEETNESS-total bad ass mix!!! Thank you for producing such a SEXY MEXY!!! Mmmmmmmmm! Hector...I hate you. I wont say much but you're a bastard and got what you deserved!!!
Brittany, I loved her. She was an awesome main character. She puts up a perfect facade to hide her real life and true self from everyone because her parents expect her to be the perfect daughter since her sister is disabled and can't do what normal daughters can do. Haven't we all done that in our lives? Afraid we will disappoint those we care about when they see we are not perfect, so we act perfect just to appease the world? Yes, I am sure alot of people have. It's not easy being popular, especially having a selfish douche bag boyfriend like Collin. Oh he got under my skin, I wanted to beat the crap out of him. He was the typical arrogant bastard only after one thing and when he didn't get it, Brittany was a bitch in his mind or whaaaaaa, she changed. Whaaaaaa, she doesn't love him, whaaaaaa he's gonna cry like a little bitch because his friends have all had sex already and his girlfriend isn't ready to put out. Whaaaaa whaaaaa whaaaa. Ugh! Sorry, for that whining but geez, he pissed me off. Brittany held her own and I was quite proud of her for seeing Collin for what he really was, especially when she finds out he cheated on her over the summer. What a douche! Drop him girl-you deserve better! And she did. She was able to be herself around Alex because he was not disappointed at how different she was, he was more relieved and happy that she wasn't really plastic like he originally thought. She had feelings, a hard life, and made mistakes. She wasn't perfect, and Alex loved her for that. *tear*
Alejandro. Alex. Hot sexy mexy. What can I say?? I instantly fell head over heels in love with Alex!!! He was not perfect and I liked that he wasn't afraid to show his true side even if he got shit for it. Okay, yea he was in a gang and most people would frown upon that. However, if they knew his past and his childhood, they would totally understand him better. He made me cry so many times, he was so vulnerable and so sweet. He was just an ordinary kid trying to get by in life. His sexy Latino speaking self was everything a guy should be (minus the gang part, but what the hell). He was HOT HOT HOT HOT and I mean HAWT!!! Gawd he gave me chills all the way down to my toes. He effected me as much as he effected Brittany. I couldn't blame her for falling in love with him. He didn't judge, at least once he got to know a person and see them behind their protective walls. He loved his family and friends (and boy did he have alot of family), they were pretty close. He would do anything to protect his brothers from their gangbanging fates. I saw how destroyed his life was since he was a kid and man I felt nothing but sympathy and anguish for him. His fate was nothing but scary for him.I can see the choices he made and why he had to make them. But nonetheless, Alex Fuentes is definitely at the top of my list of sexyy boyfriends-along with Daemon. Oh yea, he's that AWESOME! Now I can't wait to read the other 2 books about his brothers-mostly because Alex is in them!!!! He will always be my favorite Fuentes brother!! *SWOON SWOON DROOL*
Okay, now that I've written a novel of a review...I am going to add that despite the graphic contents this book had, it was worth the read. I was so glad I went for it. It shows that you just gotta read it for yourself and make your own assumptions when you're done. I will from now on not base how good a book is by its cover or whether a friend likes it or not. But I will take a chance on my own pretenses. Yes, it had sex in it (and damn it was graphic, though I've seen worse) but I loved it!!! I LOVED IT!! I loved the language, yes there was alot of cursing-but hey that's me!!! I curse like a freakin sailor. I'm not perfect and I never pretend to be. That's why I LOVE SIMONE ELKELES!!! She is real in her books. This is real life and her books portray nothing but that. BRAVO SIMONE, BRAVO!!!! I'm sorry if people disagree with me, but that's your perrogative and I don't judge you for not liking something that I do. It's your right. This is my right. AND I AM PROUD OF IT!!!! WHEW!!!! I love that this book makes me feel free to say what I want. Because dammit I live in a free country-freedom of speech baby!!!! Bottom line, this book isn't for everyone. But for those that loved it-AND TO THOSE THAT CONVINCED ME TO READ THIS, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! Okay, now my hands hurt so it's my cue to stop now. I hope everyone learns a thing or two from this book. I know I did, and one thing I learned was don't be afraid to be who you are because of what others might think. BE REAL. BE YOU.
*Alex 'Fuck Yeah' Fuentes fan for life*
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